you are not using portfolio margin, so dont concern yourself with those requirements... TOS approves an account for trading futures with ease as well, but they do go with full margin requirements per contract, even for intraday... once you have $3K with TOS you get margin, but that does not mean you can trade futures.. you will need about $7K to trade 1 single ES contract if I recall properly.
the $5K requirement from the small FCM's is to open the account.. with intraday margin ranging from $250-$7K depending on the contract... full blown margin usually starts from $1000-$15000, again depending on the contract...
larger FCM's will start at $10K... some wont even talk to you unless you have $100K.... margin is usually negotiated with those, but rarely goes below 50%.. and it is not like you want to anyhow..
sysotit or anyone,
have investment acct. w/td ameritrade. there's a few thousand not locked in to ira. you had mentioned s&p 500 for the non experienced trader(investor). if i want to invest in money market funds where can i find history of funds,what they invest in, etc. any particular forum at bmt you'd recommend?
the best funds IMO are with Fidelity and Schwab... AMTD does have decent ones, each company will usually offer funds that are widely available and some that are specific to them only so it is best to review the information they offer and to also look at morningstar.com ... but I dont really follow mutual funds, I have not done so for close to a decade now... I prefer div paying stocks and I create that way my own fund..
IMO, I would basically say look at ETF's... there are ETFs now that try to mimic commodities.. that would be a better way to get started with trading, looking at ETF's and trading the Q's, DIA's, USO's, SPY's, JJC's, etc...
look at the seekingalpha.com or morningstar.com sites ... much more informative about investment options and possibilities, rather than peoples opinions which is what forums are all about.
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